Blayney Bowling Club closes its doors as options run out

“It’s finished.”

Those two words have been the hardest for the president of the Blayney Bowling Club Steve Chapman to speak.

On Thursday February 8 the club closed its doors, and although there was hope of a Bathurst-based hotel group lending a hand, those negotiations have ended without a positive result.

“I thought that we could save the club, I really did,” Mr Chapman said.

Ever since the decision was made by Newstead Bowling Club to merge with Orange Ex-services' Club rather than Blayney, the Blayney board has had administrators in examining the club's financial records.

“We’ve had the administrators in since then for legal purposes, but they were happy to sit back and let us look at finding another avenue,” he said.

That avenue however has come to a dead-end and the board met on Wednesday night to clear the air and set a path for the future.

It’s the future of the site and the ramifications for surrounding clubs such as the Millthorpe Bowling Club and Blayney Golf Club that are now the main considerations, Mr Chapman said.

“It’s just a gut feeling, but I do think that someone will come to this club and turn it around,” he said.

Mr Chapman said that there were no firm plans for the site and any talk regarding the development of the location is purely speculative.

Irrespective of what happens to the site, when the dust settles Mr Chapman expects the beneficiaries to be either the Blayney Golf Club or the Millthorpe Bowling Club.

“I’m not exactly sure what happens there, but one thing for sure is that whatever happens with the money tied up in this site, once the creditors are all paid, it won’t leave this district,” Mr Chapman said.

As for the bowlers that play at the club, Mr Chapman said that they have up until June to find another club to play with.

“The club has always been a big part of the Bathurst and Orange bowling scene and our players are all really devastated,” he said.